SEC Tournament Deal Expected To Bring Nashville Christmas In March For 12 Years

Between 2015 and 2026, Nashville has been picked to host the men's tournament nine times and the women's tournament three times. In 2014, Bridgestone Arena is actually where the NCAA women's Final Four will be played. Credit: Nina Cardona / WPLN

Between 2015 and 2026, Nashville has been picked to host the men’s tournament nine times and the women’s tournament three times. In 2014, Bridgestone Arena is actually where the NCAA women’s Final Four will be played. Credit: Nina Cardona / WPLN

What’s it worth to host the Southeastern Conference basketball tournaments for 12-straight years? Millions, according to Nashville officials.

The SEC has named the city-owned Bridgestone Arena as the primary home for its basketball tournaments through 2026. When fans travel from Lexington, Knoxville or Tuscaloosa, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean says downtown gets a shot in the arm.

“Hotels are full. Restaurants and bars all over the city are bustling, which is good for our economy and good for our tax base, very good in fact.”

Nashville hosted the men’s tournament this year and three other times since 2001. The city’s Sports Council says nearly 200,000 fans come to the games. They’ve had a combined $56 million economic impact.

However, Nashville may lose some home hockey games as a result of the SEC contract. The Predators had to block off the first part of March for the next 12 years to avoid any conflict.

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